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There Is A Homelessness Crisis Happening In Springfield

Dr. Carl Ruby, Senior Pastor at Central Christian Church in Springfield speaks to the press on Monday at the Interfaith Hospitality Women and Children's shelter. Springfield Mayor Warren Copeland looks on.
Chris Welter
/
WYSO
Dr. Carl Ruby, Senior Pastor at Central Christian Church in Springfield, speaks to the press on Monday at the Interfaith Hospitality Women and Children's shelter. Springfield Mayor Warren Copeland looks on.

Faith leaders, public servants and frontline workers held a press conference in Springfield on Monday about the city’s worsening homelessness crisis.

The Springfield City Commission declared homelessness a public health crisis in October. Since then, things have only gotten worse. Group housing facilities in the city are closed due to COVID-19. As a result, there are now over 200 people on a waitlist for emergency housing, including almost 100 children.

“We are dealing with a situation that is of natural disaster proportions," said Shannon Meadows, Springfield’s Community Development Director. "The number of unhoused individuals in our community is very similar to if a tornado were to touch down right now.”

She said that instead of the single individuals they normally see, many of the people seeking help right now are working families that lost their housing during the pandemic.

Over the weekend, the Clark County Emergency Management Agency requested assistance from the State of Ohio to help. Gov. DeWine’s office says it has been coordinating with Clark County.

Environmental reporter Chris Welter is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.